Like email, the experience of searching through files can always benefit from improvements. For its part, Google Drive is in the process of beta testing search chips to “help users refine their search and locate files faster.”

Update 2/15: Following the November beta, search chips in Google Drive are “now generally available for all users,” including personal and Workspace tiers we checked today. On the web, they appear after entering a query.

When searching in Drive, users often use a few key words to try and locate the file they’re looking for, such as “marketing plan” or “sales report,” which may return results that are too broad. 

Original 11/3/21: Search chips, first available in Gmail, appear above the list of results and allow you to further refine a Google Drive query by: 

  • Location: Anywhere in Drive, My Drive, Shared with me, Starred, Trashed
  • File type: Documents, Spreadsheets, Presentations, Forms, Photos & images, PDFs, Videos, Shortcuts, Folders, Sites, Audio
  • People
  • Last modified: Today, This year, Last year, Custom date range
  • Tasks: Approvals (Awaiting my approval, Requested by me) or Follow-ups (Any, Suggestions, Action items)
Google Drive search chips

Multiple filters can be used together, while there are also “File titles only” and “Shared drive labels.” It’s more convenient than performing another search or leveraging the advanced fields ahead of time. Google only showed off the desktop web UI today, but search chips are also available on mobile for Gmail.

This capability is currently in beta for all Google Workspace editions with “eligible customers” able to express interest in joining here.

We hope search chips in Drive make it easier to find relevant files faster, eliminating the need to perform multiple searches or sort through irrelevant results.

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About the Author

Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: